Ammu Swaminathan or Ammukutty Swaminathan  was an Indian social worker and political activist during the Indian independence movement and a member of the Constituent Assembly of India.

Dabbling in multiple areas where women at that time had restricted access to and excelling in all of them, she not only led the struggle for independence but also for empowerment and gender equality.⁣

She was born in Palakkad district of present day Kerala in 1894. She never went to school and received only a rudimentary education at home.⁣

She married to Subbarama Swaminathan, who was about 20 years older than her. When Swaminathan proposed marriage she had replied in the affirmative but only after putting down a few conditions, that included moving to Madras, getting an English education and that she should never be asked what time she’d reach home since “nobody asked her brothers that question”.⁣

It was under her husband’s influence that Ammu became a follower of Mahatma Gandhi and took part in India’s struggle for independence. ⁣

It was around 1914 that Ammu became politically active. In 1917 she formed the Women’s India Association along with Malathi Patwardhan, Annie Besant, the Margaret cousins, and Mrs Ambujammal. They tried to address the social and economic issues of women labourers.⁣

Ammu joined the Indian National Congress in 1934. She was a strong advocate equal constitutional rights for women. She was an active participant in the Quit India Movement in 1942 and as an aftermath was jailed for a year in Vellore.⁣

In 1946, she was elected to the Constituent Assembly from Madras and was one of the very few women involved in the drafting of the Indian Constitution.⁣

Ammu had four children, her two daughters went on to become successful and extremely well known in their respective spheres. Lakshmi Sahgal, her second born, became the leader of the Rani Jhansi regiment of Indian National Army formed by Subhash Chandra Bose. Her youngest child, Mrinalini Sarabhai became a very famous dancer and was married to Vikram Sarabhai.⁣

She was also selected as ‘Mother of The Year’ in 1975 on the inauguration of International Women’s Year.